Herald Opinion: Not an easy decision for a new politician to make

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Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd found himself in a very tricky political position this week.

Mr Lloyd, who was elected in May this year, was wedged firmly between a rock and a hard place when called upon to vote on the controversial plan to increase the cap on students’ tutition fees.

Students already find themselves facing years of debt after they have graduated. Without a cap, fees will rocket from a maximum of £3,375 to £9,000, favouring those lucky few with wealthy parents - and students who have the time to hold down a part-time job whilst studying.

The Lib Dems had promised to abolish tuition fees before teaming up with the Tories in a coalition government.

So to see Lib Dems voting in favour of increasing fees has horrified many people. Mr Lloyd had to decide between sticking to his pre-election pledge and voting against the plan or keeping Nick Clegg happy and backing his political bosses.

As The Herald went to press, Mr Lloyd said he would be sticking his neck out and voting with his conscience - and against the cap increase.

Not an easy decision for a new politician to make, but one which is sure to win him support locally - especially amongst the town’s youngsters whose hopes of going to university are being gradually eroded.

Government financial wranglings are also likely to affect the opening hours of the town centre police station.

Sussex Police is being forced to make swingeing cuts and is looking into slashing the hours of the Grove Road station.

If the Sussex Police Authority decide to change the hours, the office will close to the public at 8pm - and will be closed all day on Sunday.

Since assuaging the public’s fear of crime has been a police priority recently, it seems a backward step to shut the Force’s town centre base in the evenings.

Members of the public who want to speak directly to an officer after 8pm would have to trek out to the Hammonds Drive centre - which is not particularly accessible for those who have to rely on public transport and does nothing to make he town centre feel any safer.